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with an army of 15,000 men, besieged Vienna. The Emperor Leopold, after a narrow escape, was fled to Passau, and this great bulwark of Christendom was in immediate danger of falling into the hands of the infidels. Then it was that the King and the chivalry of Poland hastened to save the empire and Christianity. Leopold had previously injured Sobieski; but, on this occasion, like a brave true knight, he thought of nothing but what he owed to an ally, to all Christendom, and to God Himself, and with all possible expedition, he advanced to the Danube, at the head of 24,000 men. He crossed the river at Tala, and asçended the mountains of Kalemberg, whence, on the 11th of September, they had the first view of Vienna, half ob. scured by the volumes of smoke from the discharge of artillery, while the plain below presented the most magnificent, but awful, spectacle of the Turkish camp, adorned with all that eastern pomp could display. The letters of Sobieski to his beloved queen, which have been lately published, convey a great idea of his piety and noble simplicity. On this memorable expedition, he relates, on one occasion, how he had assisted at high mass in the Francis, can convent of Brünn: again, after crossing the Danube, he says, “ we passed yesterday in prayer. Father Marco d'Avieno, who has come from the Pope, gave us his benediction. We received the blessed sacrament from his hands. After mass, he made us an address, and asked us if we had confidence in God? and on our unanimous reply that we had, he made us repeat with him. Jesus Maria, Jesus Maria!' He said mass with the most profound devotion ; he is truly a man of God." This scene, at which the Duke of Lorraine was present, took place on the 12th of September, two hours before sun-rise, in St. Leopold's chapel. The king served at mass, holding his arms stretched out in the form of a cross. Immediately after the whole army was put in motion to meet the enemy. The main body was commanded by the Electors of Bavaria and Saxony, with Prince Waldee; the right wing by the King of Poland, and the left by Charles Duke of Lorraine. Mustapha and the whole Turkish army were put to flight in the utmost disorder, and before night there was not a Turk to be seen. The conquerors found immense riches. Sobieski wrote to his queen that the Grand Vizier had
made him his sole executor. The great standard that was found in his tent, made of the hair of a sea-horse, wrought with a needle, and embroidered with Arabic figures, was hung up by order of the emperor in the cathedral of St. Stephen, where I have seen it. The Christians lost but 600 men. Sobieski, the modest religious hero, entered Vienna amidst the tears and the blessings of innumerable people: he went directly to the high altar, and joined in the solemn Te Deum which was sung, with his countenance turned to the ground, and with every expression of humility and gratitude. The Emperor returned to his capital on the 14th, and treated his deliverer with haughtiness. The brave Sobieski, despising the ceremonial of courts, content to meet his imperial majesty on horseback, was satisfied when he had said, “ I am glad to have rendered your majesty this little service.” He pursued the Ottoman army, fought many battles, and returned to Warsaw, crowned with laurels. On the taking of Strygonia from the Turks, he wrote to his queen in these words: “The great church in which St. Adalbert baptized King Stephen, the first Christian King of Hungary, had been converted into a inosque. A solemn mass will be sung there shortly.” Again, on the taking of Schetzin, “to-morrow, the divine office is to be celebrated in the two mosques. Thus we have regained five in this year from the Paynims, thanks to Almighty God !" Again, describing the cruelty inflicted upon his brave army by the Hungarian Calvinists, though he had always declared that he made no war upon them, but only upon the Turks, he writes thus : “They hunt us as if we were wolves. Many of our officers have had their horses shot in midst of the camp, without our having given the smallest cause for such attacks. However, I take into consideration that there are in this city many peaceable innocent Catholics, who would all perish if we made an assault *.” What battle of antiquity is more deserving of everlasting fame than that of Las Navas de Tolosa, which saved Spain, and, perhaps, all Europe?
Illustrious Spain !
* Letter 28.
This memorable victory was obtained in the year 1212, on the ground between Albiso and Venta de Miranda, near the Sierra Morena, on the Puerto Real, as it was called from that day. The King of Navarre commanded the right wing of the Christian army, the King of Arragon the left; Alphonso VIII. of Castile took the centre, as the post of most danger. Muhamed sat enthroned on a buckler, amidst a corps of reserve, holding the Koran in one hand, and a sword in the other, and surrounded by chains of iron. In consequence of the King of Navarre having burst his way through this iron barrier, chains are still borne quarterly in the shield of France.
But no more of these glorious records. It is to be feared, that these sentiments of chivalry were sometimes entertained to a vicious excess, and that in this, as in every other circumstance of men's conduct, the bad passions of the human heart were sometimes permitted to alloy the purity of virtue. Men are so fond of themselves, that they will, if possible, mix up something belonging to their miserable selves even with religion. The gentle knight and poet Camoens warns his countrymen from so doing :
You sent by heaven His labours to renew,
To deck one feature of her angel face *. When St. Ignatius set out from Loyola for Montserrat, before he had renounced the world and acquired a knowledge proportionate to his zeal, hearing a certain Moresco or Mahometan speak injuriously of our blessed Lady, he deliberated whether being an officer he ought not to kill him, but, he says, “ the divine protection preserved him from so criminal an action.” Political and human motives in a later age often put on the mask of severe religious zeal. Princes may have sometimes sought the restoration of religion because they hoped that it would be the means of enabling them to govern in peace and safety; for if a French monarch banished from his own dominions men who had renounced the religion of their fathers, he protected and encouraged their brethren in Hungary, where by joining the Turks they were endangering his great
• Lusiad, X.
enemy the house of Austria. I do not, however, conclude that the law of chivalry will authorize the censure which it has incurred, even though it be said in the exaggerated style of romance, that if an infidel were to impugn the doctrines of the Christian faith before a Churchman, he has to reply to him by argument; but a knight was to render no other reason to the infidel, than six inches of his falchion thrust into his bowels. The accomplished writer * of a late very ingenious and interesting memoir upon chi. valry, has however justly remarked upon this passage, that “ even courtesy and the respect due to ladies of high degree, gave way when they chanced to be infidels. The renowned Sir Bevis of Hamptoun, being invited by the fair Princess Josiane, to come to her bower, replies to the paynims, who brought the message,
“I will ne gou one foot on ground
For to speke with an heathen hound,
Or I your hearte's blood will see.” That doughty knight Wolfdietrich, in the book of heroes, displays a similar feeling towards the fair Marpaly, who was so moved by his beauty, that she excepted him from the fatal doom which all other knights had experienced in her father's castle. The statutes of the round table require, that no knight should marry a woman who was not a Christian. In Tirante the White, after king Escariano had been converted by Tirante, and baptized, the old infidel general of the king of Tremecen, endeavoured to persuade him to return back to Mahometanism, upon which the wrath of Escariano became so direful, that lifting up his sword he cut off the Musulman's head, saying, “ dog, son of a dog, brought up in a false law, and who wishest us to return to it, there is the price of your council.”
However, we must not take up the ridiculous notion, that knights and men of honour were allowed to close their eyes to the folly and criminality of such a zeal as this. Hear what that excellent Dominican Friar, Lewis of Grenada, told them, “ Christian charity and a zeal for the salvation of souls, oblige me to undeceive many, who, ex
cited by a false zeal for the faith, think that they do not sin when they do evil to those who are without the church, whether Pagans, Jews, or hereticks; for they should con. sider that these persons are as much their neighbours as the faithful, as we infer from the parable of our Saviour *, and even when our Lord visits the infidels with his judg. ments, the ministers of his wrath are as guilty as if they had not been his ministers : nay, still farther, they are not only as guilty as those who injure their neighbours, but they sin a great deal more, inasmuch as they are the cause that the faith is more hated by the infidels t." Hear again what a Spanish Bishop says, “ O Divine goodness, how many Pagans are there who would have been better than I am if thou hadst raised them to thy Church! How much worse than they are should I have been had I been a Pagan I!”
I have already shewn what was the opinion of Gilles de Rome. This admirable writer was of the Colonna family s he had studied under St. Thomas Aquinas, who would certainly have taught him this humane wisdom ; he became tutor to Philip le Bel, and Archbishop of Bourges, but after a time he was permitted to resign his see, and he died at Paris in retirement in the Convent of the great Augustines.
Let us next hear "L'Arbre des Batailles." The ques, tion occurs, “ought we to make battle with the Jews ??? The author at first seems inclined to answer in the affir. mative, but at length he arrives at this grand conclusion, “ Je dy comment Dieu soustient les pecheurs en attendant leur conversion et par la nous donne exemple de les soustenir. Et d'autre part il nous a dit en evangilles que le temps viendra que il ne sera que ung pasteur et ung peuple, car ils se convertiront. Et aussi nous voyons tousjours que aucuns prenent le saint baptesme et pour ce l'eglise les soustient, car quant nous les voyons nous avons memoire de nostre redemption. Et se ils nous haissent se ne sont-ils mye puissans a nous faire guerre ouverte. Et de moins aymer ne nous passent-ils mye car
* Lukę X.
† Catechism, Part IV. c. 17. I L'Horloge des Princes par Don Antoine de Guevare Evesque de Guadix, traduit de Castilan par N. de Herberay Seigneur des Essan, p. 13.